click to enlarge Letters to the editor 6/16/22
Mark McDonald has been the only host of the Public Television series “Illinois Stories” since its inception 19 years ago, taking viewers into various central Illinois locations. However, production of the show, and his employment, will end on June 30.

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Excellent write-up by David Blanchette about Mark McDonald and "Illinois Stories" ("The last Illinois Stories," June 9).

WSIU's precipitous cancellation of "Illinois Stories" is a calamity for those who appreciate intelligent television, creative people, interesting places, unique things and this region that defines all that is good about Middle America. Nobody has done it better than Mark to bring to life all these great elements.

Maybe a miracle will occur: that WSIU will recant its sinful error, reinstate Mark and "Illinois Stories," and then proceed to tee up somebody worthy to carry on indefinitely his creation.

If this reversal is not to occur, at the very least the audience is entitled to a final episode that should be about Mark McDonald and "Illinois Stories." 

Eli Goodman



We love "Illinois Stories." Mark always does a fabulous job, and we have learned so much about central Illinois – the people and its history. It would be a real shame for this show to be canceled.

Suzanne Hartman Verticchio



Many years ago, Mark came to my home to interview all of the remaining Shadid siblings. My mother was one of them. I was able to watch the entire interview and will forever be grateful to Mark and Public Television for this wonderful story.

Susan Naufel Hines



As someone who has appeared on a number of the "Illinois Stories," I am extremely saddened to read of the end of the program. But it also angers me the callous way the WSIU administration has handled the termination of Mark, Tony and numerous other staff involved. Perhaps in the future, I will need to subscribe to WILL's pledge drive instead!

Kim Matthew Bauer



With our country still reeling from the effects of a global pandemic, Americans need to feel secure now more than ever. But this isn't happening in our community or at our borders. Violent crime is on the rise across Illinois and drugs like fentanyl are pouring into our neighborhoods from the southern border. These drugs are killing our families and friends at an alarming pace.

Law enforcement plays a vital role in addressing these issues and combating violent crime. However, there has been no support for our courageous men and women in uniform from our president, Joe Biden, or Democrats in Congress.

Jesse Reising's decision to run for Illinois' 13th Congressional District comes with his promise to change that ("Jesse Reising runs for Congress," June 9). Jesse has served our nation as a federal criminal prosecutor. He fully acknowledges and respects the work law enforcement officers do to protect our communities. He promises to stand by law enforcement as well as ensure they obtain the resources and support they need to protect our country.

I believe Jesse Reising is the best person to advocate for our community and those who protect it. I will be voting for Jesse Reising for Congress. He has my complete and total support.

Jack Campbell
Sangamon County sheriff

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